South Korean shipbuilder Hyundai Heavy Industries (HHI) has successfully completed the first sea trials of the Philippine Navy’s (PN) first-ever guided-missile frigate.

The Philippine News Agency reported that sea trials of BRP Jose Rizal (FF-150) were conducted on 23-27 November in Sea State 4 conditions, citing the Philippine Navy public affairs office chief lieutenant commander Maria Christina Roxas.

In Sea State 4 conditions, waves reach a height of four to eight feet. The frigate is designed to operate in conditions up to Sea State 7.

The sea trials were conducted off the coast of Ulsan, Busan, and Mokpo in South Korea to measure the frigate’s seaworthiness and performance.

The trials involved technicians from HHI and Lloyd’s Register of Shipping.

Roxas said: “Another set of sea trials is tentatively scheduled for December 16. The PHP8bn ($157.3m) warship is a big-ticket acquisition of the Armed Forces of the Philippines that is poised to be the benchmark of PN’s transformation journey.”

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The sea trials represent the key final step in the construction phase ahead of the delivery of a ship.

BRP Jose Rizal is anticipated to be delivered to the navy in April or May next year, the news agency added.

HHI launched the lead ship of the Jose Rizal class of multi-role frigates in May.

BRP Antonio Luna (FF-151), the second ship in the class, was launched at the HHI Ulsan shipyard last month.

The two frigates are being acquired at a cost of PHP16bn ($314.6m). The procurement of weapon systems and ammunition will cost a further PHP2bn ($39.32m).

The ships will be fitted with surface-to-surface and surface-to-air missiles, launchers and torpedoes.

The PN will use the ships in support of anti-surface, anti-submarine, and anti-air warfare, as well as electronic warfare.